Going Big: The R/C Creations of Headquake

Mon, Jun 4, 2012 | Posted by:

Art, Cars, Gearhead Hobbies, People, Sweet Builds

When I stumbled across the video of Rick White’s scale ’66 Bronco crawling over rocks (and scaring small animals), I was transfixed. The man known on the Interwebs as “Headquake” builds some of the most realistic R/C cars and trucks you’ll ever see. By hand. From wood. Check out his creations and hear what he has to say about the craft.

IMG:  What is it that attracts you to building these hyper-realistic R/C models?

HQ: I’ve always been into making things with my hands. Paintings, music, sculptures, etc. I’ve also always been attracted to off-road cars and bikes. Rubber treads in the dirt. I used to play a lot with toy trucks as a little kid, I loved to make roads and tracks in the back yard to play with them on. Never had any R/C cars in my youth but as I moved out into the country again at 34 years old, I found myself with a few acres of land. I made a few trails to walk on and thought to myself how it would be fun to have a remote control scale-looking truck to drive around. I started looking around at R/C stuff and found there wasn’t much available like what I imagined. But I found a good forum and learned about R/C crawlers, and found a few guys that were trying to make more scale-appearing trail trucks, too. I learned what I needed and started building my own. 41 years old now, and the obsession is still growing.

'70 Blazer navigates a trials course.

IMG: One of the coolest aspects of your machines is that they are scratch-built. Talk to us a little about your process. What kind of time do you put into your creations?

HQ: Well, there are other guys out there building some pretty nice scale rigs as well. Most of them use styrene plastic to do this, and I tried styrene at first but found that the bodies ended up kinda brittle and light for my liking. Everyone was used to having lexan bodies on their RC cars, so people built scale like trucks that, too, because it was light and strong. It made the center of gravity lower and helped the truck perform better. Its movements didn’t look real on the trail to me, so I decided the trucks needed less articulation in the suspension and more weight all over. So I made up a simple chassis and tried making my first body out of wood. I loved the way it drove and pushed into the dirt so I started making all my trucks this way.

The first couple of bodies took about a month each as I was figuring out the best way to do everything as I went. I’m learning more tricks and techniques now, so it’s getting faster. If I have the time to work on them 8 hours a day, I can finish one now in 5 or 6 days.

Headquake builds a 1/10 scale Ranger (click through for time-lapse video).

Trail-worn '98 4Runner out for a day in the dirt.

IMG: Where does your inspiration come from?

HQ: I love the look of so many cars and trucks from the 50’s and 60’s. I’m not biased to any one manufacturer, so there’s lots more I’d like to build. It just gives me so much pleasure making these, and is very meditative to drive them in the woods afterward and make little movies to document them. After a bunch of crazy years in a person’s life, its nice to have the chance to relax and play like a kid sometimes.

IMG: Do you have a favorite build?

I still really love the look of my ’67 Fargo build. It’s a great looking truck in real life and I’ve always wanted one. The Dodge version would be fine, too. I just made it a Fargo because it was more rare and Canadian, like myself.

'67 Fargo looking for some traction in the snow.

IMG: Your videos are fun to watch! It’s easy to get “transported” into that small-scale world you’ve created.

HQ: That’s almost the most fun part of building these trucks. They make good little actors. I like my videos to come across like a different world. No macho junk and no advertising. Just an innocent and calm little drive. I find the most interesting ones are the ones with no music or added sounds. Just the natural sound of nature and the squeaks and gearing of the truck. Besides fans of scale trucks liking my vids, I’ve heard that little kids really like them, too. I think that’s cool ’cause I just wanna spread the idea of creativity to people.

IMG: What’s parked in your full-size garage/driveway?

HQ: A ’98 Toyota 4runner, a ’69 Pontiac GTO, and a ’63 Mercury Monterey that needs some work.

'66 Bronco approaches a crossing. I'm sure that will hold.

Be sure to check out all of Headquake’s videos on his YouTube Channel, and…

Have fun in your garage!


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24 Responses to “Going Big: The R/C Creations of Headquake”

  1. Ed Dawes Says:

    I had two 1967 Broncos and a 1968 Bronco… This guy is amazing… I am guessing his ancestor built autonatoms… Awesome !

    Reply

  2. Andrew Says:

    Hi Rick, I have have watched your videos and cant tell you how much i love what you do. would you consider making me one of my 79 dodge (macho)power wagon. I would be more than happy to pay you up front if you would build it for me. I can send you photos. thanks andrew petty1221@comcast.net

    Reply

  3. Chris pickett Says:

    Hay Rick I think you have a great talent of what you do I was wondering If you can build me a 2005 chevy 2500 hd body for my traxxas slash 2wd? I have a budget of gust under $50 and it is my birthday on the 28 of january. So if u can use your skill and hook me up with it my cell number is (650)-388-6034 call when ever

    Reply

  4. Aaron Cooper Says:

    Im just lewrning about scale rc trucks made of wood. Im wondering how to start out. Can some help point me n the right direction?

    Reply

  5. Aaron Cooper Says:

    Hey rick ehat kind of price would u put on a 86 chevy truck long wheel base? My cell is(859) 868-9908 would pay u up front.

    Reply

  6. Brandon Says:

    Hey Mike,

    Was wondering if you could build another one of the Ford Rangers for me to put on my OFNA 10SC. Hit me up at brandon_eec@yahoo.com and let me know what you’d charge.

    Thanks,
    Brandon

    Reply

  7. Jerry O'Ryan Lester Says:

    Hey man love your creations I was wondering if you could build me a 1977 chevrolet cheyenne will pay you don’t have a way for you to get ahold of me so just reply to this

    Thanks Jerry

    Reply

  8. Carly Says:

    Hello there, I seen you on You tube and I was wondering if you make these for order….I would LOVE to get one for my boyfriend. Reason being is that he is now at the second stage of the restoration of his fathers 1977 F150 ( he father passed away when he was 8 and this is the only thing he has of his) I have looked EVERYWHERE and have not been able to find any type of model….PLEASE contact me at coakes8686@gmail.com it would be GREATLY appreciated !!!!
    Thanks in advance, I look forward to speaking with you

    __ Carly

    Reply

  9. jason wynder Says:

    Would you be willing to build a 50s style chev if I could get your feed back they would be great my email is Jason.wynder@hotmail.com thanks

    Reply

  10. Derek Floyd Says:

    could u quote me on a H1 hummer rtr txt me at (813)-712-9894

    Reply

  11. Chris Cuzynski Says:

    Nice work on all your creations! Are you ready for a Toyota FJ45 of FJ55 wagon yet? I get a kick out of watching your videos on your home track in different types of weather conditions. Does each vehicle have a dedicated chassis, or do you swap bodies on similar wheelbase vehicles?

    Reply

  12. Bobo Says:

    Hi, I would like to ask you about servo. How did you attach it to the model?

    Reply

  13. Bob smith Says:

    Hello there !ive seen your work on utube , think its great ! I have a 66 bronco half cab , any way you can make one for me or tell me how to make the frame and motor or how I can get started ? We love to buy one from you ! Thanks

    Reply

  14. jeffrey Says:

    Guys ,headquake doesn’t sell his creations ,I also make balsa/pvc board creations and it something that I like to have as a personal thing so stop throwin you phone /emails out there sorry

    Reply

  15. bryan newkirk Says:

    jeffrey can u make me a old ford pickup i will pay 40 or more

    Reply

  16. bryan newkirk Says:

    for my scx10 honcho

    Reply

  17. Hailey Hitchcock Says:

    It’s my Dads birthday and he contantly watchs your videos and it’s his birthday today and if you could make him a 1966 ford pick up truck I’ll be able to pay you if it’s 60 and under and if you could sign the under part of the truck. he has a traxxas slash. Call me if your interested (864-398-0750)

    Reply

  18. Jeffrey Butt Says:

    Wow. That sums up everything, I’m a huge fan of your work right now, a long time fan of the Scout. Fantastic efforts here, I know you said they aren’t for sale but I’d be willing to pay 700 for a scout, if that interests you please don’t hesitate to reply. In addition, I’m a woodworker and have several tools/equipment i can see bbenefitting you, its not needed around my shop any longer. Thanks for doing what you do, kudos.
    Jeff.

    Reply

  19. Dave F Says:

    Love your work. Do you build for people? Can you build a 1979 ford short bed? I will pay. Your work is amazing. Please respond. Thank you. 609-839-3979

    Reply

  20. Wares Says:

    I just dont what to say really…you just teleported me to my childhood and dreams and good old trucks and dirt and off road and nature and just natural goodness of these wooden bodies and crawling on the woods. I stmbled upon your videos man and I am just in love with them. Watched all of them and I am one of those guys who as a kid used to play with off road trucks moving them along the dirt path and watching closely how the wheels and suspension reacts to the ever changing terrain so to watch your videos and the wheels and how they move into and away from the video is a great delight and an escape from reality. Absolutely loved it and want to thank you for sharing your love and passion with all of us and ya Canada rules. I am in UK now but miss Canada very dearly. Lived in Ontario for 12 years. Anyways keep doing what you are doing. You friggin’ amazing man.

    Reply

  21. Eric Gross Says:

    I would love to speak to you about your masterpieces….My name is ERIC GROSS my number is8144187266 please call me… I have to have those Ford truck. Keep up the good work.

    Reply

  22. Sam Swears Says:

    Rick, You are the best. Your trucks are great. I love how realistic you make them. i want to make a scaled down version of my 72 Blazer. Does any one know of a technique as how to get started? I’m afraid I’ll have one fender higher than the other. Grille, hood, etc. will not look correct. Any ideas would be welcome. Keep up the great work and videos Rick. Looking forward to more.

    Reply

  23. devin michaels Says:

    i would like to purchase one of these ford truck bodies please contact me at mocads@live.com for price and payments.thanks

    Reply

  24. Leonardo Says:

    Hi, I’m Leonardo of the Country Argentina . I saw your videos on Youtube and I really likes the 1977 F-150 .
    You can you tell me that material is that it is a white plate (the one you use to make the grill) .
    On the other hand if you also do me a favor and pass me the plans for the 1977 F- 150 and I would like to try to do it.
    Of course I thank you and congratulate you for the work you do.
    regards

    Reply


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